How To Decorate Cupcakes

Baker decorating cupcakes

Are you planning a party and want a dessert that will make everyone happy? That’s easy—serve cupcakes to everyone! Cupcakes are the perfect party dessert because they’re versatile, great to look at, and loved by both kids and adults. No more fighting over the parts of the cake that has the most icing or decorations; each cupcake is a little cake onto its own. They’re also fairly affordable, and easy to do yourself with a cupcake mix or from scratch. And they’re great for every occasion, whether it’s a wedding, a birthday party, or a simple lunch date with your girlfriends.  The latest trend in decorating cupcakes is for all of them to follow a certain theme, but for each cupcake to have a unique design. 

Here’s how you can decorate your own cupcakes:

Prepare the frosting mix! For this you will need the following ingredients:

  •  2 cups shortening
  • ½ cup nondairy creamer
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 32 oz confectioners sugar
  • ½ to ¾ cup water
  • Food coloring

In a large mixing bowl, mix the shortening creamer, and almond extract. Mix in the confectioners’ sugar slowly.  Add enough water until you’ve reached the desired consistency. Add in a drop or two of food coloring, then mix thoroughly. You can use your frosting immediately or store in the refrigerator until your cupcakes are done baking. When it’s time for you to use the frosting, bring it into room temperature before you begin.

Wait for your cupcakes to cool before you attempt to frost it.

With a frosting spatula, ice the cupcakes thickly. You can make just one big block of color, or use alternating frosting colors in stripes. When it comes to cupcake decorating, you are only limited by your imagination!

Alternately, you can make an icing bag out of wax paper. Form the wax paper into a cone, leaving a small opening on the tip for the icing to leave. Place a decorative tip in order to make rosettes or fun shapes like spirals, flowers, or hearts.

Top the cupcakes with sprinkles, candy-coated chocolate, small marshmallows, or fruits.

Other tips:

If you want to top your cupcakes with candy, make sure the frosting is firm; otherwise, the candy won’t set. You can firm up the frosting by mixing in more powdered sugar.

Use colorful or patterned cupcake liners to enhance your cupcakes’ presentation.  If the decoration on your cupcake is elaborate, use a plain colored cupcake liner instead; otherwise, there will be too much going on, visually speaking.

As an alternative to frosting, you can use stencils. Cut out small shapes like a heart out of construction paper or parchment paper. Place a stencil or two on top of an unfrosted cupcake. Using a small strainer or sifter, dust the top of the cupcake with powdered sugar and remove the stencils.

Remember that presentation is just as important! Serve your cupcakes in pedestal cake stands and in varying heights, or in a tiered cupcake holder.


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